On Monday the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) released the 2012 clinical data from its 379 member clinics. Some of this information made 2012 a record-breaking year for fertility treatments, while other outcomes reflected the same clinical trends the community has seen for decades.
Among the historical news is that in 2012 we saw the largest IVF utilization of all time. A total of 165,172 cycles were performed, bringing 61,740 babies to parents and families. Additionally, the number of multiple births declined substantially, meaning fewer women went through high risk and costly deliveries. I am excited to celebrate these outcomes.
While more children were born through ART and under safer circumstances, the infamous challenge of age-related infertility remains a pressing issue for thousands of patients. While advancements like hormone stimulation, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) have helped women of advanced maternal age have their own biological children, many are still left with few effective treatment options. As the SART data shows, older mothers and their care teams still struggle to become pregnant and deliver a child.
So what does the new SART data tell us about age and fertility?
Thus far, our technologies do not enable us to overcome the reproductive impacts of aging. As women continue to delay childbearing, I believe age-related infertility will become an increasingly burdensome condition. I know that many of us are dedicated to developing more options for these patients.